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Amputation

Respirator after double amputation

07/05/2007

Question:

I understand that after surgery it is important to walk for many reasons. My brother had both legs amputated due to diabetes complications and of course cannot walk. Is there anything else he can do to become as active as an amputee can be. His surgery was yesterday and he is still on respirator, does that mean he is not breathing at all and machine is doing the work, or is the respirator just helping him to breathe. Any info that you could forward to me with respect to double amputation would be most appreciated.

Answer:

If your brother's amputations were performed below the knee, his chances of successfully walking while wearing prostheses are much higher than if one or both legs were amputated above knee level.

Whether or not your brother will be a candidate for prostheses will also depend on:

among other factors. His physicians should be able to provide some idea regarding this, and should also be able to explain whether the ventilator is assisting his own efforts to breathe, or is instead doing the breathing for him at present.

For more information:

Go to the Amputation health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University